Sunday, October 31, 2004

I Haven't seen the Bin Laden Tape

But it makes me think a couple things. 1) He's alive and not captured, being hid by Bush people. 2) American's don't seem to allow BL to have any influence on our decision making process - with respect to voting.

This part 2 is both a good and bad thing, I think. It's good because why let that fucker have any influence over us - and I applaud liberals and conservatives both for not letting him have sway over how they will vote. The bad element is that maybe we ought be listening to Bin Laden a little more - maybe he has a point about our foreign policy and is why he is so popular, despite having a pretty backwards and stupid way of looking at the modern world. Bin Laden's only consistant ally has been the hatred of American foreign policy, which resonanates with the muslim world.
A Relucatant Bush Endorsement

My father said that he has talked to few people who reluctantly support W. Here is George Will's reluctant support of Bush. On the blogosphere, there is quite a bit of reluctant Bush support, so it seems.

I support the War, I don't support Bush. He's not my kind of guy.

The parentals were visting this weekend and I didn't have a ton of time or energy to blog much. I find myself talking the same things with everybody - movies, politics, sex, and sports if it's with dudes. That's really all there is to talk about. The only thing to do is eat and drink.

Friday, October 29, 2004

I Knew This Would Happen

RedSox fans were romantic because they would lose all the time. Now, they're without an identity.


Thursday, October 28, 2004


This is just weird.
Ben Affleck's Career Over?

Well, that's the title of this article, which is quite odd, actually. It's more like a blog than an article in msn. They way they analyze Ben, it makes me think that they're secretly in love with him. All the details, Jesus. He really hasn't done shit since goodwill hunting, which is sad, because I like him better than Matt Damon, but Damon has made some good movie choices, Talented Mr. Ripley, Ocean's 11, and the Bourne projects.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


1. Sideways
2. Shaun of the Dead
3. Collateral
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Intimate Strangers (French)
Bourne Supremacy
Garden State

Napoliean Dynamite (god awful)
Films Posting

This guy I've got a link to on the side has a link list of 600 of his favorite films. I'm going to start something similar, but in a backwards fashion. I'd like to encourage people to add comments and feel free to put up their own posts about favorite films. Rare is it that I go back to old posts and make significant updates, but I think I'll be doing it for this one. I'm staring with recent films that I enjoyed and will work backwards or forwards or whatever I frigging feel like.

1. Sideways
2. Shaun of the Dead
3. Collateral
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
No Fricking Shit

Tired interns make mistakes. Tired production students get in car crashes. We've got a culture of workaholics who boast about reminds me of my friend in high school who used to boast of his alcoholism...this was when he was between 15-18 years old. He ended up killing himself at 20.
Hello World!
I'm privelaged and honored to bring my horrible spelling and unfounded ideas to Greg's blog. I wonder how long it will take before I write something that will get Greg angry enough at me to revoke this privelage. Either way, I'm here for the moment. I feel pressured to write something insightful...but i refuse.

OK, here's a good question. What natural phenomena is your favorite? You must have seen this phenomena, so if you've not lived in a trailor park in Alabama I don't want to see the response - tornado.
My friend Ben always says - Rainbow, which I think is pathetic.
I'm partial to shooting stars. But, one of the few things (in fact the only one I can think of) on my list of things to do before I die is see the Northern Lights.
So, what's your favorite phenomena and do we care about space and its exploration.

Went to El Cid tonight, which is right down the street from my house. Avital's sister was a bit part in this burlesque show. The whole thing was pretty funny. It was a Halloween special, so they had little skits and musical numbers, mostly a bit raunchy, intersperced with scary stories. The thing costs $5 to get into, plus an $8 jamison on the rocks...entertaining at the very least. They did a lot of mock-musical bits, including Thriller, Super Freak, and I Like Big Sacks (a sir mix a lot take off). Funny stuff.
Bush on Civil Unions

So does this mean Kerry and Bush have the same position on the gay marriage/civil union issue? I guess Bush is technically in favor of the Constitutional Amendment. Hmmmm.
Yassir Arafat

Looks like he might die. So in a single week, we could see a new Palestinian Leadership and the withdrawal from Gaza settlements. Dare I say progress?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Done with Production

...nuff said, thank god.


Monday, October 25, 2004

When I was Little

I used to be so into this kind of stuff. Somewhere along the line, science sort of fell off for me, for no particular reason. I think it simply may have had to do with other interests, ie sports, film, girls, and politics. Probably in that order, too.
Scary Thoughts

I've heard this line of thinking before and am scared by it.

The reason we are fighting this war in Iraq and Afghanistan and this effort to modernize the middle east and get them out of their defeatist and self-hating cycle is so that we don't have to kill them en masse later on. He writes - sure, Iraq or Afghanistan or terrorists, or anyone in the Middle East does not pose an existential threat to us. But we pose it to them. And if left alone, the forces of terror and hate over there will brew and brew and brew until they decide they can take the fight to us and make us feel the pain some of them would like to inflict upon us now. They would do this. They would let off dirty or nuclear or chemical weapons in multiple US cities and lots of people would die, and we would still function. And we would be so angry, so rage-filled, we would find a Sherman, a Sharon, a hard-headed killer to represent us and wreck havoc on the region. Worse, we have the capability to do as much damage as our anger would let us. And that's the truly, most scary scenario, the out of control reaction we would have to being brutally attacked, where most people in America lost a loved one, or an entire city of people were scorched.

He writes that he doesn't want to have to kill a hundred million people. Can we even fathom that? It's not as if we aren't capable - 100,000 Japanese in one night in Tokyo. And that's a war we're all proud of. Scary stuff.
The Biggest Problem in America

Might be this, as far as I'm concerned. Debt spending - we need to do something to get away from it.

I saw this movie the other night, not with the highest's a road trip movie, two buddies, one getting married in a week - going to wine country to drink and play golf and eat.

I completely and untterly enjoyed it. I think it's the movie I've most enjoyed this year after Collateral...Shaun of the Dead is probably 3rd. This movie captured some fantastic moments, the feeling of the road trip, the frustrating self-defeating antics with women, hilarious sexual situations, fat naked people, a diatribe on wine drinking that made we want to know about wine and drink and drink. And it was so fun at times, two buddies hanging out with two cool chicks. It made me miss times like that and wish I had more of them, and more time in general.

It makes me think, simple is better. I don't think they took a lot of time to light. I think they concentrated on performance and made something quite magical at times. They accomplished cheese without making me guilty about liking it - the discussion about why the Paul G character loves Pinot. Great.

Also watched Friday Night Lights as part of a double feature. I liked this movie as well, not quite as much. Male melodrama done quite well. I heard it on the radio somwhere, some guy was saying that he had a great relationship with his father, but that for some reason, seeing father-son movies or stories that capture the difficult and detached nature of that relationship nearly always made him cry. I sometimes feel the same way and the end of Friday Night Lights, almost made me cry.

They skip bleached the whole damn movie.

Almost done...almost.

Saturday, October 23, 2004


I was at Venice Beach yesterday looking for set dressings and ran into a political argument on the street between a black guy and a british guy...the black guy was saying, the US is the freest country in the world and if you europeans have a problem with it go back home. The british guy was telling him that he affects the world and he's arrogant and pig-headed. I actually didn't listen for too long because I was in a hurry and they were yelling loud and not listening to each other - but it still does not make sense to me, this european and middle eastern claim that the US (sic - we) are wrong because we're arrogant. What the hell is wrong with arrogance? I'd rather be arrogant and right, that humble and wrong. I'd rather know and feel like I was doing the right thing, behaving a moral manner, than be self-depreciating and fucking people over.

I don't understand this charge, why it implies that we should be opposed or deserve to be put in our place. It's as if they don't want to examine themselves and their own problems and like to project it onto us and the best they can come up with is not that we're evil or even bad, but simply arrogant. Pathetic.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Death and Destruction Can Be a Good Thing

As was the case in San Fran when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit, right? Well, check out this 6 part series.
Happy Reading

From Melissa. Berkeley Professor's writings on Physics and stuff.
Whatever Happened to that Old Saying

"If you're not young and liberal, you have no heart - but if you're not old and conservative, you have no brains."

I guess the only answer to that question, based on this information, is that kids these days are heartless brainiacs.

As far as I'm concerned, we can pretty much safely assume Iran has and will develop nuclear weapons in the next year or so. What does this mean for us? An internal Civil War is still the best optio n in Iran - I doubt the mullahs would use a nuke against their own people....although they might unleash it on the West via terrorists if their is a perception we were aligning with the moderates.

In any case, this is a not a good development, and I imagine the expediency with which the Iranians are trying to make this happen has something to do with our invasion of Iraq. Iraq scared Libya into volunteering to give up a nuke program and expedited Iran's. That's basically a wash, I'd say.
The Onion is Too Funny

One of their subheadlines: Jacques Derrida "Dies"

Oh Man.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Terrorists as Mafiosos

I used to make this analogy. This Harvard law professor is a surprisingly mediocre writer, but makes some decent points.

I don't see them as Mafia-like anymore - I see it as more of an insurgency, an army, a fighting force.

This Red Sox - Yankees series is unbelievable.
First Cut

We took a look at cuts today for all of our 546s. Ours needs major re-working - the order of the story, the dialog. I love the opportunities and freedom you have in post to really change things. I did it in my directing project and was completely satisfied with the way it turned out, given the restrictions.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Post Production Blues

I can feel it coming up again, just like it has each starts with a day or two off - after months of having no time to breathe whatsoever. It's that heavy feeling, perhaps exascerbated by the weather, accompanied by mild headaches and overarching laziness. It is a sign the end is coming, the end of a project, you've poured countless time and man-hours into. All of a sudden, it's over as soon as it began, and you're left with what? Not much. Yourself, a movie (that still needs to go into post-production), memories, and all those things you may have left behind for months, neglecting.

It's weird. I'm tired.
It's Common Sense...

...that a draft is a possibility. That would be rough.
Muslim Comics

This is the future, if anyone cares to notice.
A Really Nice Article

It's off a link from Drezner, off course, but it offers the most compelling reason for a Kerry Presidency I've read.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Goddam Good

Dan Drezner's articles are awfully good. Interesting take on foreign policy.
Coke Commerical

My 508 partner and I are putting together a pitch for a coke commercial. The rules: a 50 second PG movie glamorizing the movie going experience. I think they use other terms, but that's the basic set up.

I am beginning to really like the process of putting together a pitch and an idea. I used to hate the idea of having to share your idea before actually making the movie - like it was hard to explain what I was going for. Now, I see it as a testing ground to see if the idea has any substance. I don't think getting chosen or anything is necessarily the marker and sole determinant of whether the idea is any good - but I think the entire process helps to clarify what one is going for.

I also find it refreshing to get away from production itself, which has become so tedious and annoying.
What about Respect for Different Cultures?

Yipes. Yeah, okay, that was a dickhead title...but what can I say, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, defined it in Team America - we're dicks!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Ebert's a Dumbass

Here's another reviewer unable to extract a political position from Team America. What are they? Retarded?

If anything, the political position is spelled out so obviously, a ten year old could understand it. But Ebert and Turan, don't seem to be able to - they can only see a polemic if someone is against or in favor of the "war." You need to be in favor or against the white house. Fuck that shit. The more shitty reviews I read about this movie, the more I think they're on to something.

UPDATE: Yes! Someone else gets Team America. Wouldn't in be interesting if the movie that impacts the election most is Team America rather than Farenheight 9/11?
Open Iraq Debate

Here is good back and forth between bloggers, Mr. Soros and Medienkritik about the war in Iraq.

I must admit, there isn't much forth, Soros only responded once and pretty much got whipped.

This is the argument that got me in favor of the Iraq war. But there is a different type of anti-war argument, not put forward by Soros, or many other people for that matter, that has little to do with Bush or UN impotence. The argument is that we are stuck in a major bind because our policies are consistantly anti-Muslim in the Muslim world, and these policies have given rise to Osama Bin Laden's popularity.

Notice in the back and forth above, not a single mention of OBL. We only talk about Saddam, who, while being a threat, cannot be compared to Hitler's growing threat prior to WWII - that is a major stretch, and we all know it.

In the eyes of Muslims, why is it that the US supports the Saudi Royal family? Why is it that the US seems to blindly support Israel, which in the eyes of Muslims is a patently illegitimate state, why does the US support India who violently oppresses Muslims, why does the US support Russia versus the Chechyns, why does the US support China versus their Muslim populations. Don't get me wrong: I do not favor supporting a Palestinian state led by corrupt autocrats, or appeasing Chechyn terrorists....but I do believe that we have put ourselves in a very tricky situation with our dependance on Middle Eastern oil. I believe the first and only true step towards moving ourselves away from supporting horrific regimes is to make a true and bold step towards energy self-sufficiency. So long as we do not make this fundamental effort, I think, out policies will be open to attacks of rabid self-interest.

We are in a disfunctional relationship with the Saudi Royals and the general Arab world. We support corrupt autocrats over religious extremists. And it appears to me that the religious extremists are the ones gaining popularity in the region.

But despite having disfunctional relationships with corrupt Arab leaders, they have not declared war on us. The religious extremists have. We should violently oppose extremists, go in and kill them without worrying about "fairness" or whether our behaviour would hold up in a court of law. This is a war - a war of Sunni Muslim fascists from all around the world attacking the west in an effort to restore pride to the Arab world. These guys are tough - they are the first Arab army to defeat a Western power (russia in afghanistan) in 800 years. They are the first Arab army ever to successfully attack the most powerful nation in the world (9/11). These guys are not to be underestimated. They way to beat them is to make their lives and the lives of anyone who supports them miserable and short. And in conjuction with the war, we move quickly towards energy self sufficiency, hybrid cars, drilling in Alaska, and so forth, weaning our dealings with the Arab world to nil. One of these days, there will be a major pan-Arab civil war. One of these days, Israel is going to have a tough time defining itself as a Jewish state as the Palestinian population rises. And one of these days, Muslims are going to see what a lame world would be offered by OBL and his crony's, and popularized religious extremism will be thrown into the dust bin of history. But so long as we are perceived as self-interested capitalists, only supporting those who can offer us oil and other such resources, our standing in Arab world will be low and we will be subject to the likes of OBL organizing and putting together armies to fight us.
Interesting Take

Dan Drezner, as usual, has a smart perspective.

Given the foreign policy stakes in this election, I prefer a leader who has a good decision-making process, even if his foreign policy instincts are skewed in a direction I don't like, over a leader who has a bad decision-making process, even if his foreign policy instincts are skewed in a direction I do like.

That's nearly an endorsement for Kerry.
Team America Follow Up

Well, this guy loved the film.

But notice why he loved the film, because of political message, the satirization of Hollywood actors and so forth. I agree, this was the best part of the film, but judging a comedy, to me, is a question of how funny the film is. This movie may not get as many viewers simply because it's not as funny as South Park, although the message may be smart.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

More on the Earlier Post

This is the exact type of b.s. I was talking about below. I firmly believe their are better and worse solutions to issues - not right and left positions.

For some reason, people find it easier to disagree with those they don't like, than to recognize the possibility that someone else has a plausible position.
Team America

Okay, so it wasn't quite as funny as I expected. Some great moments - the sex scene is the highlight for me. It ain't no South Park.

Contrary to Ken Turan's moping about the political position of the film being uncommitted and back and forth, I found their position to be perfectly clear and very smart.

The world, they say, is filled with Dicks, Pussies, and Assholes. Pussies don't like Dicks, because sometimes they get fucked by Dicks. But Assholes are the worst because they shit all over everything. Pussies can't deal with assholes, but Dicks can, if necessary, fuck the assholes. America are big dicks. The Axis of Evil are bing assholes. France and Germany are pussies.

Turan's position is bullshit. One doesn't need to be committed to a pre-assigned political position and allow one's political thoughts to be constricted by how ever the politicians or media has chosen to frame the debate. Turan wants to be able to read the film as an anti-war film or a pro-war film, and cannot think outside the current frame of debate. I hate that kind of narrow thinking.
Arrested Development

Has a marathon on FX right now. What a great show.

Friday, October 15, 2004


So I had to speak with my bosses (AGAIN) about being late to work and about more rigidity with respect to scheduling...

It became pretty much impossible to balance school and that particular job, especially when told that if I wanted to move my schedule, they were inflexible about one day when I had a class.

It was an amiable conversation, but also the closest I've come to being fired, since, well, being fired from my Party America job when I was 16.

I was trying to figure out how I was going to get 2 extra days off next week (nearly impossible), not to mention a vacation over Thanksgiving and Xmas, that probably wasn't going to be happen.

It's funny, cause as production ends, my job also ends, so presumably at some point, I won't have shit to do.

On a bright note, I have my old trojan travel job waiting for me....
The Big News

I'm at work and about 1/2 hour away from quitting. Stay tuned
Team America

Just read a review in LA Times of the new Trey Stone and Matt Parker movie. The reviewer only liked the film so-so, but I have to say, the review had me laughing harder than most movies. I'm seeing it this weekend.

Funny bit: In the movie a bunch of actors are in the Film Actors Guild, aka F.A.G.

He he.

UPDATE: Apparently the calendar section of the LATimes is not free online, whereas the rest of the paper is if you register. I'm starting to get more and more annoyed with the cost and general registration and nit-pickiness for online traffic.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the internet for the vast amount of information I've been able to consume the past couple years, essentially for free - content-wise at least. Sure, I've had to pay for my DSL, etc, but it's surely one of those things that has become worth it.

But increasingly with the whole music piracy, charging, the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, archive NY Times articles, it's becoming more and more annoying and I only see it getting worse as the capitalists get their hands on the internet.

It's so cheap to get content up on the internet, I just hope we can continue to keep it cheap to view it - not like the Cassette tape to CD fiasco when the production costs went down and the user cost went up.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Love these Posts

I love these kind of posts. I'm so glad I got a Subaru Impreza instead of a Jetta that I was considering. I had my first problem with it the other day, a dead battery after 45,000 miles. Not too bad.
I Still Say the College Dorm Room...

...but maybe that's a tad elitist. This idea works as well. Maybe better.
Comics Save the World

This is interesting to me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


I saw the end of the last debate tonight. It really struck me - these guys aren't going to have very different policies. With respect to the war on terror, they more or less seem to have the same position. Kerry just says that Bush handled it wrong in the past, but that he'll stay the Bush course. I kind of think this is a bullshit position. If you want to challenge the war, challenge the war, and call it illegitimate, not smart, or whatever you believe and stand by it. I feel like Kerry is trying to have it both ways - not alienating the war supporters by promising to stay the course, but appeasing the anti-war folks by saying Bush did this and that wrong. I don't really know if his position is legitimate.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Shakespeare Was Right

Each human life is a tragedy, all of human existence is a comedy.

This just proves it. (I can't link the article yet, LA Times on Saddam's mindset). I've always wondered why Saddam never just came out and said, "Look, I don't have WMDs." It made no sense to me. What a collosal fool, I thought. But in his own foolish logic, this article somewhat explains it...he pretended to have WMDs to deter Iran. Interesting.

The world is such a weird freaky place. The whole Iraq thing may in hindsight turn into a huge joke from a historical standpoint...a basis for Monty Python film. I will note, no one pointed out the foolishness of the whole thing...the anti-war folks were consistantly angry and perturbed about the war, never ones to mock the whole idea.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Home Ownership

Here's an interesting idea, a 40 year fixed mortgage. Can you pay more per month if you want to cut down your debt? How does a fixed mortgage work?

Part of me want to buy a place the next time I have steady work. The other part of me wants to wait until I get married and buy a place with someone as a home and not as an investment.
To Do List

After I get finished up with this 546, or at least to a reasonable point...which is quickly approaching, I have a bunch of things I want to do:

1. Blog more and get up on N.Z. Bear's hit list. I'm getting 10 hits a day (thanks folks) and would like to track my readership versus other blogs and see where I stand in relation to the blogosphere as a whole.

2. Go out and get laid more.

3. Write more. Start working on some of my short and longer film ideas. I should get another outline done for a feature before the semester ends, and at least three short films written.

4. Apply for some interesting jobs. I'd leave film school if I got a good job right now. I'm not loving the experience, although I like being part of the community, and think there are a lot of great opportunities. I just feel like it's borrowed time and certainly borrowed money.

5. Read more books, see more movies, play more soccer, get into shape. Cook more, hang with my friends, send my script to competitions, send my movie to small festivals.
Is the Press Getting Worse?

I've always likened blogging to a college dorm's not a substitute for fair and accurrate news. But before blogging or in conjunction with blogging, news has started to slowly turn into an ideological and market-driven battlefield of opinions. People are listening to their "team," this election is a horse-race...have things always been like this? I know in the early days of America the press was super biased and partisan. They survived. I must admit, I enjoy reading opinions rather than simply facts.

OPEDs and Blogs and Fox News is more fun than CNN.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

All Flipped Around

I supported the war in Afghanistan and supported the war in Iraq - reluctantly. I don't subscribe to the typical West coast liberal charges of Bush's simple-minded, monetary interests in going to war in Iraq because I think it's narrow, un-informed, and largely irrelevant. I viewed it through the lens of how it would improve our situation in the war on terror. I thought that teaching a lesson to a-hole leaders would send a message throughout the world to not fuck around with us.

After reading Imperial Hubris, I'm beginning to think differently. I don't like back tracking and flip flopping, but this book has got me thinking WAY differently than before. His basic argument is that we are in a war against a determined and patient foe, who has been mislabeled as "terrorism." We are actually fighting a world-wide Islamic insurgency who has specific gripes about US policy toward the Muslim world. I used to hold the position that much of the Muslim world is simply anti-Semetic, anti-West and would blame us for their own problems regardless of our policy towards them. And perhaps this is still true. I guess the difference is how one ought to deal with such a situation.

The anonymous author argues that we ought to re-think and change our policies towards the Muslim world, not because it would be right to, but because the cost of our current policies are too high. It is not that they misunderstand us - they hate us. Bin Laden genuinely thinks we are an evil empire. And so do many other Muslims.

He also thinks we do not have a choice between war and peace. We are at war, because they have declared it upon us. Our choice is how we wage the war. In war, the best move is to attack the center of the enemy, it's capital, it's infrastructure, and so forth. In this war, we have yet to identify the center of Al Queda - they have no cities, no banks, no military factories. Anonymous argues the center of Al Queda is hatred of American POLICY. If we change our policies towards the Muslim world, get our troops out of Arabia, stop supporting the Royal Family and stop supporting Israel blindly, we will diminish his ability to provide specific examples of anti-Muslim polices and be unable to promote his attacks on Americans.

And then we should be brutal and savage in our war against all Islamic insurgents, causing them so much pain that they put down their arms and cannot bear to fight anymore. Our current "victories" are bullshit. We capture and kill a small percentage of the enemy and he comes back to fight another day. It's been like that for 30 years.

One of the most interesting facts he points out in his book is the examination of "terrorist" camps in Afghanistan. A very small percentage of the fighters who went through the camps were trained as terrorists, most were trained as soldier combatants. We are not facing a group of criminal terrorists. We are fighting a Sunni-Muslim insurgency that thinks of itself as fighting a defensive war against aggressive American for anti-Muslim policies. They are religious and fighting a religious war, similar to the motivations of nationalists, fascists, and other previous religious wars. He cannot stress enough that we are not fighting criminals, as many elites would have us believe.

We must get in the mind-set that this is a war of survival, not one that can be fought delicately. We will not be able to start democracies in places unsuited for it, we cannot stop genocides from happening, the best thing we can do is improve ourselves and live up to our own lofty standards and hope the world follows along. Otherwise, we risk becoming the target of intense and fundamental hatred and we become involved with messes we cannot help or improve. He espouses a neo-isolationism, that we need to "be willing to let let the flames (of nationalism and fundamentalism) burn themselves out whenever we are not in danger of catching fire ourselves. If we want to avoid the needless, thankless deaths of our own countrymen, we must learn to watch others die with equanimity."

Harsh. This guy is tough. He argues that we shouldn't make such a big deal out of war or killing or dying. Solider are paid to fight and to sometimes die. It's their job. It's our job to make sure they're doing for a useful reason. We shouldn't make such a big deal out of civilian causalties. This is a fact of war, a fact of life, and to ignore the horrific, savage history of fighting and dying throughout human history to think we can fight a "humane" war is nonsense. Our goal is to fight a smart war that we will win.
Major Failure

I've had a bunch of mini-failures as a producer on a this film -- most filmmaking is a series of mini-failures....but my first major failure occurred tonight. A location completely fell through at the last moment, the lady got jittery and decided to try to charge us $500 to shoot there. It's a fucking joke. I tried to negotiate with her, but only got it down to $150 w/o power and $400 with power. Still a joke and for her to do this at the last minute is an utter and complete disaster. This is a MAJOR failure, we aren't going to be able to shoot tomorrow and we're going into pick up weekend needing to shoot an entire scene. This is a producer failure on two levels - we don't have a back up and we didn't cover all the possible issues that could come up beforehand. Admittedly, I had no time, no money, no resources, no experience...and this lady is gouging us - but it is still a major failure. The producer's job is to give space for the rest of the crew to work. Tomorrow, they will have no space. Period. Bottom line.

Friday, October 08, 2004

An Adult

I wonder about what it means to be "adult." It has something to do with judgement I think. I'm getting more confident in my judgement, but still manage to find myself in situations I really don't know how to handle. On set, our DPs want to take forever to make things perfect, our lead actress is sick, the rest of the crew is bored, I'm dead tired. How does it get resolved. What does one do? The circuit breaker pops. The house is a mess. We're disrespecting the location. Is this the right business?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

What is Directing?

In a documentary, the director doesn't really direct, they are more of the personality of the film. In class, it's interesting to see what the director does...and it seems like the less they do, the better. Short, clear instructions, and stay out of the actors way. The director is more of a motivator.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


I doubt what we are trying to do in Afghanistan and Iraq...for sure these days. Perhaps these are tribal societies we have no business trying to mold.

But then again, with the Taliban we didn't see this, and it nearly makes cry. They're adorable.
First Look Sucks Ass

I had a few drinks before heading to First Look this evening...I couldn't drag my ass away from sappy Barney's Beanery with my producing partner to make it to the show. I missed the films I had wanted to check out, some past 546's. I was mildly buzzed and got to see the last three movies, a couple 581s and a 546 about frats. How boring. Anyhow, I fell asleep through the first two films, I couldn't even tell you what they were about and the last one kept me captivatedly angry because it was so LAME. What is the obession with frateraties? Does anyone give a shit about these institutions? This includes the people who belong to them. I don't think they make such a big deal about being a part of one...these film students seem hurt by their very existence and they like to make movies portraying them as these evil bastions of masculinity, when I just see a bunch of awkward, kinda lame dudes masquerading as studs.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Missing the Debate

I missed the debate. And then I had a chance to watch a re-run and opted to do some work instead. I dunno, the VP debate just doesn't get it going for me. Frankly, the Bush-Kerry debate didn't get it going for me either. I think this is an important election and I don't think we have a good candidate.

We need a major re-thinking of the war on Terror (a misnomer, me thinks - we should be calling it a War against Islamo-faciscm) and neither Bush nor Kerry provides it. Bush is sticking to his plan, which some days I think is working and other days think it's about to fall completely apart.

Kerry provides a hopeful, but I feel, ultimately, wrong alternative. I feel as though he is slipping back into treating Islamic Fascism as a fundamentally criminal problem that can be solved with cooperation amongst civil-minded countries. This is the approach we've taken for nearly 30 years and have seen the problem get worse and worse. We must at some point acknowledge that OBL and Al Queda are not Mafiosos, but faith-based, pan-Arab, Sunni fundamentalists interested in mostly political and religious objectives and NOT money and strictly power.

A determined, patient, and angry foe has declared war on us. As much as we would not like to fight a war, it is not a choice we have, it is a decision to recognize a declared enemy or to pretend he doesn't really exist as a major problem. This act of denial is negligent and I think cowardly on a moral level.

Monday, October 04, 2004

I Heart (Shape, not the word) Huckabees

I would like to write more, but I'm too tired. A movie about competing philosophies - existentialism and nihilism and materialism, I guess. I thought Jude Law was super funny.

I can't think of another filmmaker that I would consider intellectual, other than David O Russell these days. Hmmmmm.

UPDATE: Groovey responses. I agree with Therese...Pi (the symbol, again, not the word) is certainly an intellectual film. Honestly, I haven't thought about Aranofsky much in awhile. Even Requim is fairly intellectual as far as films go.

As to money...I can't see this thing making anything, really. It's a tough movie, but it might have come out at the right time, might have enough laughs, and it certainly has the cast, to make, say 30-40 million. But from the movie perspective, I remember thinking to myself - whoops, O Russell may have severely hindered him own chances of making another movie in awhile here...

Mallick - I consider this guy to be more of an abberation than a filmmaker. 3 movies in like 30 years? I admittedly love Badlands - it's one of my favorite films ever, but that was in the 1970s.

In the end, film is not really an intellectual's an emotional one. I think I heart Huckabees suffers from that.
The Battle

Sometimes I feel like it's a constant battle working with a crew of people on a movie, a battle for departments to get as much as they can out of the production. People seem so weasely sometimes. One thing is for sure - people look out for themselves. I guess it's a good lesson to really understand and know. That's why you have to align the interests of the group with the individuals.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Tougher in Iraq

I said this same thing last week. In essense, you win a war by giving the enemy no hope. That is the only way to win. Otherwise, they will continue to fight.

This is one of the problems with going into Iraq in the first place. With only so-so support within and certainly outside the US, Bush set himself up to fight with kid gloves, because of fear of civilian casualties and the media coverage, and support of folks at home. This guy points out that Kerry won't be much better.

What happened to our leaders? In a few short years, we've gone from a country that couldn't fail, to one that doesn't seem like it can win.

Saturday, October 02, 2004


A hopeful article. Why is it neoconservatives are always predicting revolution in Iran and it never seems to happen....that seems to me to be part of why the news media doesn't cover it - since it hasn't happened.

If Iran had an internal regime change and turned into a more west friendly, democratic place, our efforts in Iraq would certainly have had the type of impact the neocons imagined.

It could also be the start of a Muslim vanguard that opposes OBL and company.
Shooting a Movie

Right now.